Summer School Courses
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It is acceptable to take required courses in summer school. Although summer school course grades are not factored into your Colby GPA, they do count toward your overall and science GPAs for the purposes of application to professional school. Even if you transfer your credits to Colby, you will be expected to provide a transcript from the school where you took the course(s) in the application process to graduate medical education programs.
You should seek advice on the merit of a specific summer course from the appropriate Colby department. If you want the credits earned to count toward graduation, you will need to obtain formal pre-approval from that Colby department. (See the Registrar for transfer of credit information.) However, you can take pre-professional courses without having them approved by the College if you do not need, or want, the credit to count toward graduation. Colby will not grant retroactive credit for courses taken during the summer — you must make all arrangements ahead of time.
It is important that summer school courses be taken at 4-year institutions with rigorous course curricula. Taking an “easy” course may give you a chance at a strong grade, but won’t help you learn the material needed in preparation for the MCAT and medical school courses. You should consult with the Chair of the Colby department(s) most directly related to the intended course(s), regarding your choice of an institution/course. Most health professions schools will not accept pre-health pre-requisite credits from community colleges or on-line courses. Ideally, any course you take will be equal in rigor to the same or similar course taken at Colby.
The one exception to the “equivalent to Colby” rule concerns Introductory Physics. By and large, medical schools do not have a preference for calculus-based physics courses over non-calculus-based physics courses. You won’t be able to transfer credit for a non-calc physics course to Colby because Colby’s Intro to Physics is calculus-based, but that won’t count against you in the application process.
There are also exceptions to the “no community colleges, no online courses” rule if you are looking at pre-requisites for other health professions besides medicine. Nursing, for example, may require an Anatomy and Physiology course. Some schools will accept an Invertebrate Anatomy course coupled with Mammalian Physiology, but some won’t (the Jan Plan Anatomy and Physiology course is not equivalent to a traditional Anatomy and Physiology course sequence). Veterinary schools may require an animal nutrition course. If you find yourself needing a course that is simply not offered at Colby or is not offered widely at other institutions, speak with the Health Professions Advisor to explore your options.
Please consult the Health Professions Advisor in the Career Center, the Registrar’s Office, or relevant Department Chairs for assistance in identifying appropriate courses you may take away from Colby in meeting your health professions school pre-requisites.